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Wet Foot Shrubs?  RSS feed

Posts: 67
Location: Merville, BC
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I'm looking for suggestions of useful shrubs that will thrive in seasonal standing water. I have an area on my property that collects water through out the winter, and dries out in the summer. I'd like to fill it in with something productive, preferably food, and not too tall (no willow trees). I'm Zone 7, West coast, which means wet wet winters and seasonal summer 'drought' (80% of precipitation between Nov and March).

Any suggestions?
Posts: 760
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Blackberries would probably work if you can water until they produce. I think raspberries would ripen before the drought. Some shade would help the raspberries. Strawberry might work if you made a raised bed. They don't like too much moisture. Hazelnuts might work. You might try some asparagus.
Posts: 115
Location: Trapper Creek, AK (3a)
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The native elderberry around here thrive in wet conditions.

I haven't seen highbush cranberries growing right in swamps, but I've seen them in places that flood with snow melt in the spring.

What height range are you looking for?
Posts: 395
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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I would recommend blueberry, dogwoods, hawthorn, crabapple -- but I have to say all of these would be best in a soil mound 3 ft above the flood mark (which will gradually sink to 1 ft high without regular mulch)
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Serviceberries, aronia, western crabapple, and honeyberry are all said to like being wet (I've planted the first two where it's really soggy, but not standing water, and they seem to be doing well). I also have salmonberries and blackberries growing happily in my wetlands. Other shrubs I see growing in my wetlands are Douglas Spirea (Spiraea douglasii, not edible, but the insects seem to like it), elderberry, sitka willow (medicinal? gets up to 26 feet tall, but I usually see it only about 8 feet tall), stink currents (other currents may do well, but my property only came with these!) and thimbleberry.

Here's a PDF you might find useful: http://centralwashingtonfirerecovery.info/2012/wp-content/uploads/NRCS/WetlandPlantings.pdf

The King County (down in Washington) website has a plant finder, too, and comes up with some good results when searching for "shrub" and "wet": https://green2.kingcounty.gov/gonative/Plant.aspx?Act=search. Here's some of the one's on the list. I bolded the ones I know to be edible. I wonder about the Nootka Rose and blackcap raspberry liking standing water, as they grow naturally on my property in drier places:

bald hip rose, black cap raspberry, black gooseberry, bog laurel, bog rosemary, devil's club (the name really fits it...), highbush cranberry, nootka rose, Pacific ninebark, red-osier dogwood (supposedly edible roots, shoots, stems and seeds), salmonberry, douglas' spiraea/hardhack, stink currant (tastes like pine), subalpine spirea, swamp rose, sweet gale, tall Oregon grape, twinberry

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